This summer, I put together a four week long meal plan that we've been using more often than not. I tried to come up with recipes that were heavy on seasonal fruits and veggies, the use of the grill, and the meats I already have stored away in the freezer.
I have plans to tell you more about building your own plan, but for now, I've got to share this recipe that is PERFECT for summer before any more of it gets away from us!
When it's hot out we want to avoid heating up the kitchen. We want food that fills us up and yet feels more like a snack than a full on feast. I love putting a hunk of meat into the crock pot and deciding what to do with it later - you can shred it up and wrap it in a tortilla OR put it in a bun OR just serve it up with a few sides and you're good to go. The thing is...I've never actually used a recipe or turned out a PERFECTLY juicy roast. That is, until Tracy showed me the ropes.
I'm calling this summer style pork roast because that's exactly what it is. During the summer, I lean more towards pairing my pulled pork with BBQ sauce, buns, coleslaw, and beans. When the weather cools back down, I might heat up the oven to make cornbread or I might change up the seasonings and turn on the stove top for mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, and the whole Sunday Dinner style roast.
It's summer and we know what we want! Let's get it cooking!
When one of your favorite food bloggers tells you this recipe begins with a rub...You listen up! Grilling has taught me that rubs can accomplish A LOT. This roast is no different. Make the rub.
Garlic and onions are two things I've ALWAYS paired with crock pot cooking. They're going to go in first. Big chunks are just fine, you won't be serving them up with the meat.
Onion and garlic are in. The roast is rubbed. Take a moment to admire your work!
Here's the SECRET: MORE THAN 3/4 CUP OF LIQUID. For whatever reason, I've had it in my head that 3/4 cup is enough...It's not. I'm telling you, you'll be taking this roast out with tongs because it's going to be soooo tender that it will literally be falling apart. That's exactly what we're going for.
Up the liquid. You'll be glad you did!
Last but not least, diced tomatoes are going to add a lot to this dish! Diced tomatoes are something I've added to my pantry over the last year or so. I've only been using them for pizza sauce and now this roast, but that's enough to warrant having them on hand!
We put the lid on. Set the temperature to LOW and the timer for 6-8 hours. Then, we walk away and feel the freedom that comes with knowing that dinner is already going!
The roast comes out pretty and nice and ready for a million possibilities. Slice it or shred it. Eat it the way it is or dress it up with a favorite sauce. Serve it with fresh melon, your go-to salad, beans, rice...Whatever you're in the mood for!
Tracy says to save the stock you've created, but I'm a little unsure of what to do with it. I redenered off the fat and stuck the stock in the freezer. I'm thinking a mexican soup would be PERFECT, but I'm not sure if I can bring myself to add chicken to it. I'll keep you posted!
In the mean time...I've got a bit of the meat left over and it's going to be turned into pork fried rice tonight.
Summer Style Pulled Pork
slightly adapted from Tracy Benjamin
2 1/2lb pork roast
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
smidge of ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 c. chicken broth (more if you have a larger roast)
Combine salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, ground cumin, paprika, and garlic powder. Rub all sides of the meat with this rub.
Place the pieces of garlic and onion into the bottom of your crock pot. Set the roast on top of them. Pour the tomatoes and the chicken broth into the crock pot, avoiding the meat itself and making sure that everything is evenly distributed around your roast.
Place the lid on the crock pot and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours. (If your roast is larger, you may need to cook it longer. Tracy cooked her 4 lb. pork shoulder on HIGH for 8 hours.)
Take the roast out of the crock pot and process the meat however you want. Shredding it with two forks and topping it with BBQ sauce is my personal favorite. You can also skip the shredding and serve it in slices if that's more your style!
Skim the fat off of the cooled stock and use as a base for soups.
What's your summer cooking style?
What are you favorite ways to use a roast?